Changes May Be Ahead for State’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Body
Democrats in both legislative chambers—with House Speaker KC Becker of Boulder at point—are looking at several changes to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. The COGCC is the appointed body that serves three key functions for the oil and gas industry—it creates the regulations and rules for the state, approves drilling applications and inspects drilling operations.
The changes likely will not include larger setbacks, but they may focus on prioritizing health and safety, as well as local control. The legislative effort comes on the heels of two important decisions on oil and gas regulations. Frist, voters overwhelming rejected a 2018 ballot question to increase setbacks to 2,500 feet. And second, the Colorado Supreme Court last month rejected a lawsuit saying that the COGCC needed to put public health and safety above other factors when considering drilling permits.
However, Becker and other leading Democrats contend that voters put them in charge of the General Assembly to address issues like oil and gas regulations and public health. According to a recent Denver Business Journal article, Becker said legislative Democrats “want COGCC to not be in the business of promoting oil and gas but regulating it.”
This will likely become one of the major issues of the 2019 legislative session, and the CAHB will be engaged throughout the process. To learn more about the current discussions, as well as oil and gas industry concerns, check out the DBJ’s article here.
HBA of Metropolitan Denver to Host CDPHE Stormwater Training
CDPHE will conduct a training on its new Renewal Construction Stormwater General Permit program. The training will be on February 28th from 10:00AM to 12:00PM and will be held at the HBA of Metropolitan Denver at 9033 E Easter Place, Suite 200, Centennial, CO 80112.
Please forward to anyone on your team, or those you work with and let the HBA know ahead of time if they would like to participate. RSVP email@example.com as soon as you can.
CAHB Government Affairs
This association’s Government Affairs Committee recently took action on the following bills:
HB19-1135: Clarify Income Tax Credit for Retrofitting a Home (Position = Support) — This bill extends the income tax credit approved in the 2018 legislative session for retrofitting a residence for a disability or medical need to a qualified individual’s dependent. The CAHB supported the original legislation in 2018.
HB19-1170: Residential Tenants Health and Safety Act (Position = Oppose Unless amended) —This bill would significantly modify the implied warranty of habitability in a residential lease between a landlord and a tenant. The proposed changes include adding specific conditions of a property to the description of an uninhabitable residence such as mold and the absence of functioning appliances; and requiring that a landlord move a tenant to a reasonably comparable unit, pay for incidental moving costs, or pay for the tenant to reside in a temporary location when a property is hazardous or uninhabitable and conditions are being remedied. The CAHB will be working with the Apartment Association and other stakeholders to amend this legislation.
SB19-107: Broadband Infrastructure Installation (Position = Oppose) — This bill would allow an electric utility or supplier to install and maintain above-ground broadband internet infrastructure for internal and external use to provide broadband service, or for lease of any excess capacity to a broadband internet service provider. The bill allows these utilities to use existing electricity easements to then be used for commercial and other broadband services, in some cases without changing the easement. As currently written, the GAC has concerns that this is a takings and may seek to override easements and private property rights.
SB19-109: Adjust Damages for Limitations for Inflation – The GAC and the association’s lobbying team have begun the process of reviewing SB109. The bill seeks to adjust damage limitations for inflation on January 1, 2020, and each January every two years thereafter, for unlawfully serving alcohol, non-economic loss or injury, and wrongful death. The bill’s text is available here. If you have any concerns about this legislation, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information:
To track the CAHB’s legislative positions—including bills that the GAC supports, opposes and monitors—please visit CAHB Bill Tacker.